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GOP bill would block FCC's effort to regulate the Internet


Less than a week after the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate the Internet, 20 House Republicans have proposed a bill to block the FCC rule.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) proposed the legislation, which would explicitly ban the FCC from reclassifying Internet serve as a telecommunications service that can be regulated, and also block the FCC from imposing rules on Internet service providers.

House Republicans have proposed a new bill to block a new Internet regulation from the Federal Communications Commission, run by Chairman Tom Wheeler. Image: David Ramos/Getty Images

Blackburn was among the many GOP members who opposed the FCC's "net neutrality" rule, which supporters say will prevent providers from prioritizing some Internet pages over others. Most Republicans say the rule would only add government shackles to an Internet that has clearly flourished without any significant government regulation, and could lead to political decisions about content.

Many Republicans also complained that the rule had not been seen by the public before the FCC vote, which led many to say Democrats were selling the huge, unseen rule the way they sold Obamacare.

"Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all," she said Wednesday. "My legislation will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations."

Blackburn's bill has a good chance of being considered, as key House and Senate leaders vowed last week that Congress would have a say over the FCC's decision.

"[L]ike Obamacare, the Obama administration's plan for the Internet may not work, but it will create years of uncertainty and lead to expensive legal fights," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said last week. More mandates and regulations on American innovation and entrepreneurship are not the answer, and that’s why Republicans will continue our efforts to stop this misguided scheme."

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